Network Centre has brokered a small knowledge exchange project between QMUL Reader in Management Practice / Deputy Director of Education, Patrick McGurk, and local Hackney based enterprise, Echo (economyofhours.com) to analyse the social value of its project, The Match.
Echo is a network which connects community projects, many of them within the creative industries, and businesses to share skills. Echo launched The Match in collaboration with Loughborough University London and the Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone in response to the C-19 crisis. Recognising the challenges many small creative businesses are facing, and the potentially untapped resource of skilled furloughed workers, The Match connects them for practical and strategic business support during this period.
For this voucher project, a cohort of undergraduate students will be recruited to work with Echo to undertake quantitative and qualitative analysis of the value of the help and services offered via The Match, and how it can be best understood, how useful established models such as Social Return on Investment (SROI) are in this type of context, and what improvements to data-sourcing and matching processes might increase the added value of The Match in the future post-Covid environment. Results will be made available on a Social Impact Evaluation webpage hosted by QMUL, containing multi-media content, including text, graphics and video.
This work will help inform a new student-led knowledge exchange project at QMUL, with business and the wider community, called SKETCH, (Student Knowledge Exchange Through Community Hubs). Starting in September, SKETCH will run over two years and will provide pro bono, social impact-driven consultancy and venture capital services to East London’s start-up and Third Sector community.